Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

What Is an Intranet and How Does It Work? Uses and Defined Terms

An intranet is essentially a private web-based network that is accessible only by authorized personnel. It makes use of all of the technology available on the internet, but it is safe and secure because it is secured by a firewall that prevents unwanted persons from accessing it. Companies have been using them as a technique of simplifying their internal communications for many, many years.
In addition, since a web browser can be used on any kind of computer, it eliminates the need to have several paper copies of documents that are continuously changing. Training manuals, internal phone books, procedure manuals, benefits information, employee handbooks, requisition forms, and other papers may be preserved and updated as electronic documents at little or no expense. It is possible to save a large amount of money on paper and other materials.

 

Nonetheless, the most effective feature of an intranet is the capability of displaying information in the same way on any computer that is connected to it. Employees will be able to access all of the various software and databases that a firm employs without the need for any additional equipment or software to be installed on their computers in this manner.
This unprecedented level of information accessibility is igniting a new age of cooperation, unlike anything the world has ever seen. The departmental walls that exist in many firms are slowly being dismantled as workers utilize the workplace intranet to easily communicate information with one another.

Various options for putting up an intranet

When it comes to putting up an intranet, there are several alternatives. Building your own intranet technology, acquiring and installing third-party software, or obtaining access via an extranet application service provider (ASP) are all options. The following is a succinct review of the merits and downsides of each strategy:

1. Constructing it on your own

Advantages: Complete control over the design of the user interface; the opportunity to adjust the amount of functionality; interaction with internal systems; and direct access to information about user activities.
Negative aspects include high initial development costs, the need for extranet development expertise, the commitment of internal staff for six months to one year for planning, execution, review, and implementation, and the need for ongoing internal and client support, hosting, maintenance, and upgrades. Pros: Extranets are cost-effective, easy to implement, and have a wide range of benefits.

2. Purchasing and putting in place third party software

Proven track record of packaged solution; flexibility in selecting functionalities and customizing the user interface; faster implementation time than if you were to develop it yourself; and lower overall cost.
Several disadvantages include a high up-front purchase cost, the commitment of internal staff for customization and implementation, the ongoing commitment of internal staff for internal and client support, hosting, maintenance, and upgrades, as well as extensive internal and client training. Advantages include the ability to customize and implement a solution quickly and efficiently.

3. Using a service provider as a third party (ASP)

Advantages: The application has a proven track record; it has a low entry cost and a predictable cost over time; it can be implemented almost immediately; there is no commitment of internal staff for internal support, hosting, or maintenance; and it can be upgraded at no cost by extranet experts, resulting in savings on internal server use.
Several disadvantages include a lack of flexibility in user interface design and inflexible functionality.

In the end, everything comes down to this

The strategy you use will be determined by your working style, the technical and financial resources available to you, and the urgency with which you need to go ahead.
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